The spirit of Memorial Day

Many thanks to Kelli Scott for sharing the heartfelt letter of Maj. Sullivan Ballou, a Rhode Island volunteer of the northern army in 1861. His final letter home reflected an extended love for his wife, Sarah, for God and for his country. Major Ballou’s words bring home the spirit of Memorial Day to our present time.

John Alexander


A few more bike safety tips

As a former cyclist, I appreciated Jeff Ackerman’s editorial of May 19.

I have ridden many of the highways and back roads of Chelan County. It was a delight to see the very young children riding their bikes on the Loop Trail but their path can be a bit erratic. It was best to stop and wait until they had passed by.

Jeff made some excellent suggestions and here are a few more.

  • Cyclists follow the same rules as motorists, for example, stopping at stop signs and red lights, and signaling when you make a turn.
  • Sidewalks are for pedestrians.
  • Wear a helmet. Its purpose is to protect the front of your head and should be worn on the top of your head, not the back. About twenty years ago, I crashed when I hit a pothole during a road race at a Senior Olympics event in Missoula, Montana. I was knocked out for a few minutes but my helmet protected my head while my left arm was crushed between the front tire and the fork.
  • Your helmet should be replaced after an accident, or every five years.
  • A prayer of thanks followed each ride for allowing me to ride in a beautiful place.

Susan Shell


Slavery not baked into the Constitution

To say that Paul Parmley’s letter of May 25 had some errors in it would be an understatement.

His assertion that after abolishing the Electoral College we would even be a “Republic” is a headshaker in itself. Without the Electoral College, we would have no Republic left. But to keep this short, I will address just one point.

Like most of those who seem to enjoy tearing down the American Republic, he quotes the oft-repeated lie that the Founding Fathers “baked slavery into our Constitution by ‘privileging’ a male slave with 3/5 of his Humanity to be counted in a vote.”

The reason for the 3/5 rule was simple. With lower free populations, the Southern states knew they would be swamped in the House of Representatives, this half of Congress being based on population.

They wanted the slaves counted to give them more House members. However, they stubbornly and unjustly refused to enfranchise these people, once counted. The plan was to count all slaves as population, keep importing more slaves, and bury the North in the House.

By giving all in servitude only 3/5, and also making the importation of slaves illegal after 1808, North and South were kept in a precarious balance. The Founders were not declaring that the Black Man was inferior.

They kept him from being used as a tool to further empower the slave-holding interests.

Sadly, it would take a civil war to finally resolve this.

Andrew Caruthers


Impeachment would be a traumatic drain

Lately I’ve noticed more Red Hats stating, “Make America Great Again’,” usually on older white folks.

To my amazement when seeing these folks my good-natured side makes an unexpected appearance, I smile and exchange polite conversation, with no malice or anger. This is baffling because the President of the Red Hat Society is to many people a genius at dispensing propaganda, the most transparently spiteful president ever, the best ever creator of fear and division, possessing an exuberance for adolescent name calling, a trained assassin of truth, and has an ego the size of the Empire State Building.

These hats are a reminder of all these negative qualities and more. Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House of Representatives, (love or hate her) said the uneven temperament of the President isn’t conducive to good leadership. Along with the current investigations and the Mueller Report one can hope the eyes will begin to open of even the most ardent supporters of the President.

Impeachment is a traumatic drain on our government and society. Nixon, like Trump, was an easy politician to dislike, but when he resigned, I had a sense of empathy for both he and his family. The Halloween after Nixon resigned a trick-or-treater appeared at our door in a Nixon mask a sign around his neck stating “I’m Not a Crook.”

I’m wondering which Halloween a young man with a Donald Trump mask a sign around his neck saying “No Collusion, No Obstruction” will come Trick or Treating.

To be honest, I would rather see President Trump defeated bigly in the 2020 election.

Connie Fliegel


Florea to a critic: Let’s talk

After reading the letter you recently published by Mr. Jarret Griffin, I would just have to concur that if the man he is describing in that letter is running for any office, I certainly would not vote for him!

In this day and age, we have enough partisanship and name-calling, and division based on our differences of opinion on a variety of issues.

What we need is people who are capable of expressing their opinions, even if they are not mainstream, even if they are opposite of our own, and to do so with openness and compassion and a willingness to listen to those who differ, even if it doesn’t change their mind. That’s called being committed to one another.

As a member of the church I pastored in Leavenworth once told me after I totally disappointed her, (once again), by another of my anti-war protests, (I am admittedly a pacifist), “Well, I guess you just don’t get to choose your family.” And the same can be said of your fellow community members. We may not agree about much, but we don’t get choose whether we are a part of the same community or not.

So, in that spirit, I would like to encourage Mr. Griffin to go beyond his perception of Mr. Florea, and have a meaningful face-to-face about what your concerns are for the community we both call home.

We might share some of the same concerns. But even if not, I will certainly listen to you without that hatred that you seem to think exists, (part of my pacifism comes from a belief that I am called to love even my enemy — I know, not very practical is it? And in this day and age it has become almost unAmerican). You can contact me directly at my campaign email address at and let’s have coffee.

But even if you aren’t interested, all I would say is, if I can’t meet enough people of Leavenworth in the coming months who would disagree with your assessment, then I should not be mayor, just as you say!

Carl Florea